Readers deserve works of fantasy that are written for an intelligent and imaginative audience.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Supernatural Is a Damn Good Time

*Spoilers-You've been warned.*

The angels have fallen. There's a power vacuum in hell. Monsters still roam the Earth. Sam's got an Angel in him. The Prophet is beating up Crowley, and Dean? He keeps on keeping on. After the Winchesters (with a little help from their sex-obsessed friend, God) defeated Lucifer, I genuinely wondered where the show could go. I've been fairly pleased with everything they've done.

The CW's Supernatural does a fantastic job of creating a contemporary mythology. I can imagine anthropology students centuries from now trying to understand our culture from this show. We see in the Winchester's constant battles an echo of our culture's inability to reconcile the needs of the human animal, the traditions that have shaped our culture, and the problems posed by a culture of accelerating change.

The scene in season 9 episode 2, "The Devil May Care" where Dean and Ezekiel, renamed Zeke, talk after the angel has laid waste to a few demons to protect Sam's body which he occupies,  the contemporary state of the traditional man trying to be good yet unable to trust even an angel, and the angel recognizes the legitimacy of Dean's dilemma. The problem is no longer one of faith, but rather of how to trust when one is presented with an over-abundance of evidence. These sorts of theological and metaphysical problems get reduced to emotionally overwrought melodramatic moments pleasantly punctuated by beautiful women and engaging battles.

Supernatural is a damn good forty minute distraction filled with fantastic interpretive moments anytime the viewer feels like treating these supernatural creatures as metaphors or representations of traditions.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Cover Art Contest Details

Cover-Art Contest for A Mage's Play by Zak Shareef
$300 Award and publication as the cover for novel from a best-selling Amazon author.

Submission deadline is December 15, 2013

No submission fee.
Email queries, requests for the full novel, and submissions to

Prize awarded January 1st 2014.
Excerpts you may wish to illustrate or work from:

Friday, August 23, 2013

$300 Cover-Art Contest

Prize Awarded on January 1st 2014.

I'm holding a cover-art contest to find the right look for my novel. I want something gritty, sensual, enticing, and stylistically unique.

If you're interested email for a copy of the book or a description of characters and scenes.

Here's what I have now:

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Self Published Fantasy Collective

One of my favorite thing in the world when I was a kid was that last page of a paperback where the publisher had included an advertisement for numerous books with checkboxes and dollar amounts for me to send away for a few more. I loved that list of options of books that would be an enjoyable read in a way similar to the one I'd just finished had been. It was a salve to that horrible sadness that always accompanied finishing a book. I've experienced worse pains in the years since I got my books from the Scholastic ordering pages passed out by my elementary school teachers or from their sponsored book fairs. It may be muted these days, but I still experience that sense of loss when finishing a book.

I've been thinking of a way to get the word out about my novel without having the money to really invest in any of the more expensive marketing tools available online for would-be authors. I remembered that exciting feeling at the end of a book when I'd see all the others I might enjoy if I sent away for them, and I thought about adding a similar list of self-published authors to the end of my novel.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Calling All Artists

I’m looking for a new cover for my novel. If you’re interested in cyberpunk and urban fantasy, and you love to draw or paint, drop me a line.

Excerpt from A Mage's Play

Ananda pinched him. Hard. Great. Now we’re stuck with this. The first time you called me your girlfriend is while staring down a psychopath dressed like a cowboy.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The New Novel is Available!

Wands are for pretenders. Staffs for the impotent. Magic is an Art, and the only thing a real Wizard uses to create is his mind.

Joshua Awen used to cast spells as easily as he'd argue the theory behind them, but now he's lost his Wizard's power. These days he has access only to the rougher and less prestigious Magician magic, and he's met a beautiful cursed girl who needs saving.

Joshua embarks on a quest to help this girl all the while certain that something or someone is behind his meeting Ananda and stumbling upon a magic city.

This novel is set in a future where technology has given most people limited access to magic. Think Max Frei's "The Stranger" meets Charles Stross's "Accerlerando" with a dash of martial arts thrown in for good measure.